Industrial Platform in Morocco: Development of Investment in Fes-Boulemane Region

Center of Investment, Fès-Boulemane, Director, Youssef Rabouli
We have a vision and a goal; this is why we have taken all these measures. We hope to become an industrial platform for the region.

Interview with Youssef Rabouli, Director of Investment Regional Centre of Fès-Boulemane

Youssef Rabouli, Director of Investment Regional Centre of Fès-Boulemane

The CRI has enabled the creation of 582 businesses, a slight decline of 3% compared to 2009. What measures did you put in place to help the private sector and small business development?

To answer this question, I will firstly address the characteristics of the Regional Investment Centre. Each region of Morocco has its own Regional Investment Centre. The Fès-Boulemane Regional Investment Centre plays an important role in helping investors and entrepreneurs. We try to maximize investment. We represent several external services which collaborate with the Regional Investment Centre namely, OMPIC (Moroccan Office for Industrial and Commercial Property), CNSS (National Social Security Fund), the commercial court, the tax administration etc.Fes Overview

We have a vision and a goal; this is why we have taken all these measures. We hope to become an industrial platform for the region.

In terms of business creation, the main goal of the Regional Investment Centre is to inform the interested parties on the different steps and procedures to follow and the different financial incentives available. We are trying to encourage companies to realize their investment projects. Morocco has undertaken numerous initiatives serving as a driving force for economic and social development established by the government and particularly by His Majesty Mohammed VI. We are trying to communicate on these projects and undertakings through different events and in our communication documents.

At present, in regards to small businesses, the government has established a number of programs, for example the Mokawalati program, which, encourages the youth to create their own business. This program has led to the creation of many jobs. There is also the Regional Committee for Business Creation which was established in partnership with the Banque Populaire Foundation. The youth benefit from the advantages of assistance provided during and after the creation of their businesses.Fes Textile Factory

What are your most prestigious projects? What kind of companies set up their operations in the Fès-Boulemane region?

The region of Fès-Boulemane, considering the economic and social development, has adopted a certain number of projects and programs in different sectors. On a national scale, this region was the first to create a tourist development plan which was signed in 2005. There is also the industrial development plan, handicraft development plan, and the agricultural development plan. The results of these development plans and projects are reflected in the basic infrastructure and in all the economic sectors like industry, tourism and property development.

Some of these projects and successes are for example the Fès City Center developed by the group Addoha, which is well know on a national level. There is also the tourist project ATLAS Hospitality by the Royal air Maroc group. We have also managed to develop 4 star hotels, one of which will be managed by the Barcelo group and the other by a French operator. A fourth hotel will soon be built in Fès. The fact that we are working together with Wali and the City hall, allows us to be very flexible, dynamic and to resolve a number of both local and national problems.Fes Tourism

The world has been affected by a recent economic crisis. To what extent has the region been affected by the crisis?

Fès-Boulemane has not really been affected by the crisis. The main sectors affected in Morocco are the tourism and textile industries. However, in spite of the dominant food and textile industries in Fès-Boulemane, we have not been affected due to the presence of a dynamic group of businessmen who work with large foreign firms. With the services of the Wilaya, the regional CGEM (General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises), and the AMITH (Moroccan Association of the Textile Industry), we have succeeded in resolving certain problems with a positive impact in these sectors.

Another reason that has limited the effects of the crisis is the tourist industry. During the 2009 crisis and even the beginning of 2010, the tourist sector recorded growth. This is due to the CAP 2009 program which was launched by the government but mainly applied by the Fès-Boulemane region through international awareness campaigns and communication on the tourist potential in the region. These campaigns were led by the CRT (Regional Council of Tourism) in collaboration with local operators.

What sectors are occupied by most foreign investors? What measures can be undertaken in order to stimulate foreign investment? Fes Shore Outsourcing park

Numerous measures have been planned by the government in different sectors. Our mission is to attract maximum investments notably foreign. Fès-Boulemane has an abundant workforce to develop the offshore sector which is seeing rapid development.

We have already started having great demand from foreign investors in Europe and particularly France, Spain and Italy as well as the Arab countries. The CRI led a sensitization and communication campaign through its website (, and thanks to the support and participation in different forums and conferences abroad, foreign representatives like our ambassadors, and also through the EBN (European Business Network), which is specialised in innovation and creation of small business. These initiatives were undertaken with the goal of promoting foreign investment.

To conclude, we have seen that the measures undertaken by the Regional Investment Centre have helped develop this region. What would be your long term vision for this region in 3 – 5 years? What is your vision?

We have a vision and a goal; this is why we have taken all these measures. We hope to become an industrial platform for the region. Given the fact that we have a vital geographical position, we also have the intention of developing a regional techno park. We have several ongoing projects like the Fès-Oujda highway. With all these projects, we hope to become an industrial and commercial platform which can offer added value and which will eventually lead to more wealth and employment.

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